African visitors attracted by Teesside’s skills reputation

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Learners from Ghana are visiting Teesside’s TTE to receive world-class training to prepare them for work in their home country’s oil fields.

A group of 15 technicians from global offshore oil and gas company MODEC arrived in Middlesbrough in November and have been learning from TTE’s expert tutors at the world renowned centre.

TTE’s staff have worked hard to make sure the Ghanaians – who have jobs critical to global energy supply – could learn safely and without interruption throughout the Covid pandemic.

John Cooke, operations manager at TTE, explained: “The fact that we get learners from all over the world at TTE’s Middlesbrough facility just goes to show the reputation we have on Teesside for technical skills training like this.

“Our guests from Ghana are learning on a variety of programmes that will equip them with the skills to be technicians with various specialisms, including instrumentation, electrical, mechanical and process.

“They’re with us for six months, in which time we’ll cover a lot of ground to prepare them for jobs back on some of the world’s most strategically important floating oil platforms off the coast of Ghana.”

TTE’s relationship with MODEC goes back a number of years, and Boro-based teaching staff have previously visited Ghana to help the company establish training programmes of its own.

This is the first time visiting the UK for all of the learners, and many have not been outside of their home country at all.

Desmond Kumi, 27, a mechanical Technician and one of the group, said: “The training at TTE is at a very high technical level.

“The use of actual oil and gas equipment for training is of real value for our current qualification, but also our future careers. The knowledge, past experience and enthusiasm from the TTE trainers is exceptional. We all feel very lucky and happy to be here.”

John added: “Covid has presented a challenge over the last year but we’ve stepped up to that and put in place measures to make sure we can deliver our training. It means we’ve used technology, applied new hygiene and safety systems and carefully planned the delivery of practical teaching sessions.

“While their free time outside of studying has been quite different to previous programmes, it’s meant our MODEC cohort can progress and achieve internationally respected qualifications, including those from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

“Their training programmes are bespoke to MODEC and we’re really proud of the fact we work with international companies of this scale to provide the skills they need.”